Page images
PDF
EPUB

The bashaw of Syria threw off the mask, caused J-c-15"*,

'Heg. 927.'

himself to be called soudan, and assumed all the *—v—» attributes of sovereign. Solyman lost not a moment to crush this rebel; he sent towards Syria, under the orders of Ferhad bashaw, all the forces that Selim, his father, had intended against Persia. On the news of these motionsa Gazelbek gathered together all the troops his faction could furnish him with. Twenty thousand men only consented to march against this formidable army, which the usurper was not afraid to go and attack with the tenth part of the forces opposed to him. Well convinced that audacity alone could supply the deficiency of number, he would not attend in fortified towns the destiny with which he was menaced. He marched out of Damascus to take possession of an advantageous camp, where he was soon joined by the enemy. The combat was nothing but a slaughter, hardly one of Gazelbek's soldiers escaped the enemy's sword, and he himself paid with his life, for the honor of having reigned two months in Damascus. So much blood shed in one single day, retained, not only Syria, but all Asiatic Turkey under the obedience of Solyman.

The spirit of conquest was hereditary in the *?e mar

11 'ches int»

Ottoman house. Neither the emperors nor the Hungary;

/ * his vizier

troops could remain in peace. . Solyman resolved takes BeU to turn his arms against Europe, and to extend

J;c.i$«. his dominions to the westward of Constantinople*.

Heg. 9*7. ( # r

«—v—» For fear lest any new disorder should interrupt: Ke obiiges the course of his expeditions, he placed sixty against thousand men under the command of Ferhad

their inclinations, to bashav/, beglerbeg of Asia, to enable him to keep

buy the re - . .

licks sound all the country in obedience to his authority.

town. He sent a fleet of observation into the Archipelago, and fitted out another of fifty ships of war, which was to escort, to the Black sea, four hundred vessels of burden, designed to provision the army which menaced Hungary. Never had there been a more favorable moment for the Turks to attack the Christian dominions. Spain, France, Germany, and Italy, were agitated by discord. Pope Leo X. was occupied with the rising opinions of Luther, and the wars in Italy between Charles V. and Francis I. for the duchy of Milan He was unable to prevail on the princes of Christendom to succour the king of Hungary, as yet a minor, whose greedy ministers were impoverishing his heritage, and had carried their imprudence so far, as to insult this Ottoman power, so redoubtable for their master. Solyman having, according to custom, sent ambassadors to the young king Lewis II. his neighbour, immediately after the death of Selim, and at the time of his accession to the throne, the Hungarian monarch, or rather his ministers, paid so little attention to the law of nations, as to suffer these ministers of peace to be insulted by

the the people. This was. more than sufficient toJ-c,,s*i«

Heg. (j*y.

authorise all the acts of hostility wnjch Solyman <—*—* meditated. He sent instantly a body os troops to block up Belgrade, before they had time to fend provisions and reinforcements thither. He marched himself as the head of a powerful army^ and encamped in the plains of Semin, after which he detached his grand vizier Mustapha Kirlou with a numerous corps, to reinforce the troops that were laying siege to Belgrade. This Hungarian key, which had always resisted the prede-r cessors of Solyman, was taken, in less than a month, through the scarcity of provisions and the u^'. weakness of the garrison. ,They sound in Belgrade relicks that had been for a long time much . venerated in Hungary. The emperor had thenjt collected with great care, and carried to Conr stantinople, where, after having caused them ta be shewn for money to the devout Christians, he fold them to the Greek patriarch for twelve thousand ducats, who was obliged to raise this sum from those who were of his communion; for this act of religion was not quite voluntary,.,

Whilst the grand vizier was occupied before j.c. 15**. Belgrade, the emperor took, in person, several Soef '„'* little places. He meditated, for the following year, ^j^** a more important conquest, in which Mahomet ^c*slof II. had not been able to succeed. The grand £i>°.ks.

- • .* He mena

master of Rhodes, Carette, was Jately dead: the ,ces the

knights by

grand prior pf France, Philip Villiers 1/isle'«tcr.

P p Adam,

J-c,«5«- Adam, had been elected in his place, thougfi * 929- several competitors had made intrigues in the election. Bosio, a lay brother of the Order, who has written its annals, assures us, that the grand prior of Castile, Damaral, a Portuguese by birth, one of the candidates for the dignity of grand master, in his rage at having been unsuccessful, resolved to deliver up the ifle of Rhodes, and wrote to Solyman to make him the proposal of it. Be that as it may, the emperor of the Turks, who knew how to pay spies, was informed that the moment was favorable. All the powers of Europe were at that time at war, which put it but of their power to succour Rhodes, and employed a great number of knights and regular troops, who could not be expected to come to the assistance of the island: and as all the misfortunes seemed to happen at the same time, Rhodes, after two years scarcity, was badly provisioned, and the place was dismantled in several parts, because the grand master Carette had taken down some bastions, to rebuild them on more solid foundations. Nevertheless Solyman durst not break, without a pretext, the treaty concluded with the Order, under Bajazet II, The grand master, Villiers L'isle Adam, having set sail from Marseilles in a carack, followed by four feluccas, carrying provisions and ammunition, landed fortunately at Rhodes, across a thousand dangers from fires, tempests, and particularly from a

famous famous Turkish,corsair, called Curtogli; he hadi^15*** been sent secretly by Solyman, to lie in wait for & 9*9L'isle Adam in his passage; and his little squadron, all composed of corsairs like himself, was very superior in force to the escort of the grand master. The latter however found means to avoid him, and was received with transports of joy in the island which he was come to govern. He found only six hundred knights there, and less than six thousand regular troops. Villiers L'isle Adam was hardly arrived at Rhodes when he received a letter from the emperor of the Turks, of which the following is a faithful translation. (C Solyman sultan, by the grace of God, king of cc kings, sovereign of sovereigns, great emperor "of Byzantium and Trebizond; most powerful ?' king of Persia, of Arabia, and of Egypt; *' sovereign paramount of Europe and Asia; *c prince of Mecca and Aleppo; possessor of Je« fe rusalem; and lord of all the ocean; to Philip tf Villiers L'isle Adam, grand master of Rhodes, fc greeting. "I congratulate thee on thy new *c dignity, and on thy arrival in thy territories; "mayest thou reign happily, and with still more "glory than thy predecessors. It will be thy <f own fault if thou do not live on good terms "with us. Enjoy then our friendship, and, as V our friend, don't be the last to congratulate us '.' on the conquests which we have just made in "Hungary, where we have rendered ourselves Pp 2 <c masters.

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »